Have you ever looked at someone and realized you were seeing them differently? Have you ever seen a situation through a different lens? Each of us comes from somewhere, and our experiences and thoughts give each of us a unique outlook on life. We refer to this as perspective.
Many times perspective is an unconscious thing, we do not realize that what we are seeing is being portrayed differently for each person looking at it. Imagine a group of artists sitting in the same park all looking at the same scene. If you asked these artists to draw what they what they saw, I venture to say not one picture would be the same as the others. Each artists would look at the scene and see different highlights, each would paint using their own style based upon their years of experience. Some may not even accurately portray the scene in front of them because they were focusing on one particular detail above the rest.
While each of us may take perspective for granted, it is in actuality one of our most defining characteristics. Each of us sees the world through a different lens, based on our experiences. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, allowing us to be unique, it could have negative connotations if expressed in the wrong ways. Our perspective not only shapes what we see, it also shapes our actions, and this is what can get us into trouble. Each of us will see a certain situation differently because of our perspective, but we will also act on what we see. Unfortunately, our perspectives are flawed! What we see is not always what is happening. For example, if you looked at the pictures painted by the artists in the previous analogy, you might see one accurate part of the bigger picture, but unless you actually saw the scene in the park, there is no way you could accurately understand what is going on. Not only would you have to see this scene, you would have to sit down and dissect it in order to fully understand every little piece of it. Obviously we cannot do this on a regular basis, but we can train ourselves to see things through a different perspective that will help us to better understand what is really going on.
As Christians, we are called to see things through God's perspective. I mentioned before that we do not have the time or energy to accurately dissect and understand any given situation. However, God, being all-knowing, sees the scene for what it really is. Not only does he know the big picture, he knows every detail of every part of the scene. Lets take a moment to understand what that means. Not only can God see the physical scene, the movement, trees, wind, etc., He also sees the thoughts of each person, He knows every aspect of each of their lives, He knows their perspectives, how they got them, how they will use them, who they are, who they were, who they will become. I literally could write an entire lifetime and not be able to accurately portray or understand what God can see in any given moment. This in mind, it seems pretty arrogant for me to assume that my perspective is the correct one.
So where do we go from here? How can we see things through God's perspective? Honestly, there is no way for our small human minds to accurately know or comprehend what God sees, but what we can do ask that God give us insight on a situation. I'm not saying that suddenly the clouds will open up, light will shine down and you will fully understand. What I'm saying is that many times God will give me insight on one particular piece of the puzzle of a situation. I will realize that a person is hurting, or is having a rough day, I will through no effort of my own come to understand the situation just a little bit more because God allows me to see the situation through different eyes than my own. When people attempt to do this on their own sometimes they call it "stepping into someone else's shoes" but when you ask God to give you a different perspective, He will reveal things to you that there is no possible way you could know on your own.
Not only does this allow you to grow personally, but it can impact your actions. Once you see a small detail through God's perspective, you will begin to better understand the bigger picture, or the problem, and ultimately the solution or action required. I challenge you, spend time in God's Word, and ask Him to help you see things through His perspective. Next time you are faced with a situation that you do not understand, ask Him for insight, then, allow His perspective to shape your course of action.